American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)

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American Rescue Plan Act Logo

The City of Harrisonburg has received $23.8 million from the American Rescue Plan Act to be used to support our community and address needs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. After a robust public engagement campaign that resulted in more than 2,000 individuals providing feedback on the effort, City Council will receive the community's input on what needs could be addressed with this funding at a meeting on Tuesday, June 28, at 7:00pm at City Council Chambers. A final report on the ARPA public engagement campaign will be made available on this webpage once completed.

The goals of the Harrisonburg ARPA program are to:

  • Support families and businesses struggling with the public health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Maintain vital public services, even amid declines in revenue resulting from the crisis
  • Build a strong, resilient, and equitable recovery by making investments that support long-term growth and opportunity

These funds represent a once-in-a-generation investment in our community, and we appreciate the community members who have provided their input to help us understand the impacts, needs, and ideas for restoring and transforming our community. 

 

How can ARPA funding be used to help our community?

The following focus areas are all options for how these dollars can help Harrisonburg:

Community Health and Wellness - Supporting physical, mental health and substance abuse programs and support for social services and programming.

Neighborhood Investments - Improvement to roads and sidewalks, housing rehabilitation, parks, recreation, enhancement of public spaces, community and recreation centers, and improved connectivity and integration of alternate modes of transportation such as greenway trails and projects to improve walkability.

Community Services for Individuals and Families - Homeless and housing services, childcare, youth programs, programs and support for seniors.

Public Facilities and Services - Improvements to public buildings and facilities, public safety programs and equipment.

Maintaining and Growing Jobs and Businesses - Investments in areas negatively impacted by the pandemic such as tourism, travel and hospitality; efforts to increase job creation and workforce training; and considering how to address the impacts on wages and salaries.

 

What are the parameters that control spending these funds?

The U.S. Department of Treasury regulates and enforces the use of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF). Treasury’s Final Rule describes eligible and ineligible uses of funds as well as other program provisions. The Final Rule went into effect on April 1, 2022. Local governments additionally must comply with Treasury’s Compliance and Reporting Guidance and meet compliance and reporting responsibilities defined in the Final Rule, which includes submitting mandatory periodic reports to Treasury.

An overview of the Final Rule is provided in this brief (ARPA-SLFRF Final Rule Brief [424KB] PDF) developed by the City of Harrisonburg City Manager’s Office and Finance Department.

The full text of the Final Rule is available on the U.S. Treasury’s ARPA Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds: https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/coronavirus/assistance-for-state-local-and-tribal-governments/state-and-local-fiscal-recovery-funds

The Final Rule presumes certain services are eligible for the City of Harrisonburg to fund through ARPA if these are provided in a geographic area federally-designated as a Qualified Census Tract or in Census Tracts with median income below $40,626. These maps show the Census Tracts in the City of Harrisonburg that meet these eligibility standards per the Final Rule:

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

 

Q: Has the City already spent some of these ARPA funds?

A: The Harrisonburg City Council has obligated funding from ARPA to support three projects as of March 10. Those projects are:

  

Q: Is there a chance the City could receive more than $23.8 million in ARPA funding?

A: The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) included $1.9 trillion to aid public health and economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The City of Harrisonburg directly will receive $23.8 million. Billions of dollars of other ARPA funds will flow through the Commonwealth of Virginia to communities, businesses and households. The City has hired an ARPA Coordinator who will work to identify additional dollars that could benefit the Harrisonburg community, and to coordinate effort to apply for funding for special projects brought up during the ARPA engagement process. That's why your feedback is so important, regardless of what projects have already been selected.

The Commonwealth Institute has more information on how funding from the American Rescue Plan Act has been categorized in Virginia. See the image below or visit https://thecommonwealthinstitute.org/the-half-sheet/use-of-arpa-funds-a-step-forward-more-to-be-done-to-build-a-just-future/

How ARPA funds will flow to Virginia communities